It speaks volumes about Michael McDermott’s songwriting prowess that the songs that make up Orphans were originally written for his last few albums but were left sitting on the shelf. In some ways this is fairly relaxed record by McDermott standards, but it still packs a powerful emotional punch.
Key Tracks: Tell Tale Heart, Sometimes When It Rains In Memphis, Givin’ Up the Ghost, The Wrong Side of Town, Full Moon Goodbye, What If Today Were My Last
Featured Twangville coverage of Michael McDermott: Mayer’s Playlist for January/February 2019, Part 1 and Michael McDermott Comes Out From Under (Album Premiere)
Porter channels his frustration about the state of the world into a glorious rock and roll record. The lyrical bite can be potent yet not without a glimmer of optimism and rebellion. “Our redemption song can topple walls but first we must compose it,” he sings on “The Dream Is Dead”.
Key Tracks: Communion in the Ashes, Waiting for a Sign, Back to the Wild, The Dream Is Dead, Anything For Greed, This Fear Won’t Control Me
Featured Twangville coverage of M. Lockwood Porter: Mayer’s Playlist for Spring 2019, Part 1
There ain’t no sophomore slump here. If anything, it’s the opposite. Folk trio Lula Wiles make a powerful statement with songs that range from the political (“Good Old American Values”) to the personal (“Independence Day”). Add their brilliant harmonies and musicianship to the mix and the result is a record both stirring and poignant.
Key Tracks: Love Gone Wrong, Hometown, Nashville Man, Independence Day, If I Don’t Go, The Pain Of Loving You
Featured Twangville coverage of Lula Wiles: My Mind Must Be Back in Boston – A Special Playlist and Shamrock Shakes and Oxycontin – A Special Boston Playlist, Part 1
Walker displays a musical maturity that belies the fact that this is his debut record. He is equally as comfortable spinning a humorous yarn as he is delivering a jaw-dropping ballad. In the process he hits all the corners of Texas music, from acoustic folk to Tex-Mex to a healthy dose of red dirt and rock and roll.
Key Tracks: Canyon, Working Girl, Burn It, Love Songs, Fondly, Last Call
Featured Twangville coverage of Joshua Ray Walker:Dallas Days and Fort Worth Nights – A Special Dallas Playlist, SXSW 2019 – The Sounds, Part 1 and Monday Morning Video – An Introduction to Joshua Ray Walker
Ritter’s lyrical pen is as strong as ever. The songs on Fever Breaks, whether dark or hopeful, are filled with intoxicating imagery and romanticism.
Key tracks: Ground Don’t Want Me, Old Black Magic, On the Water, I Still Love You (Now and Then), All Some Kind of Dream
Featured Twangville coverage of Josh Ritter: Mayer’s Playlist for Spring 2019, Part 2, Josh Ritter and Good Old War in Northampton and Monday Morning Video – Josh Ritter Sings to the Dogs
Charlie Marie proves that you don’t have to live in Nashville to play heartfelt country music. She channels the greats – from Patsy and Loretta to Willie and Hank – alongside her own musical talent and charm.
Key Tracks: Rodeo, Rhinestones, Countryside
Featured Twangville coverage of Charlie Marie: My Mind Must Be Back in Boston – A Special Playlist and Sweet Caroline – A Special Boston Playlist
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.